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Players 2021: Byeong-Hun An nearly made history at 17, and NOT in a good way

March 11, 2021

Sam Greenwood

PONTE VEDRA BEACH — Byeong-Hun An has a great sense of humor. Which is good, because there are only two options after doing what he did on 17 and 18 at TPC Sawgrass on Thursday: Laugh or cry.

An was going along perfectly fine through 16 holes during the opening round of the Players. The 29-year-old former U.S. Amateur champion just birdied the par-5 16th to get back to one over for the day, a very respectable number on a difficult morning for scoring. An then stepped to the 17th tee and everything went totally, completely, absolutely, horribly wrong.

It began when he fatted his tee shot into the water. From the drop area, his third shot went over the green and into the drink. His fifth shot, same thing. He returned to hitting it fat for his seventh, which was never close to terra firma. His ninth shot found the green, and he two-putted for an 11.

That’s four balls in the water and a … checks Google … octuple-bogey 11. That’s just one better than the worst-ever score at 17: a 12, courtesy of Bob Tway in 2005.

Adding insult to death, An then tugged his tee ball on the par-4 18th into the water and wound up making double-bogey 6. He played the final two holes in 10 over par, which is the second-worst total anyone’s ever posted on 17 and 18 in a single round at the Players—Phil Blackmar played them in 11 over in the second round of 1990, according to the Golf Channel broadcast.

An wound up signing for an 11-over 83, but he can take a little bit of solace. He still beat Henrik Stenson, who shot 85.

And, impressively, he was able to laugh about the round afterward … or at least have some fun at his own expense.